The Rangers continue to get better,especially the young players. With Mark Staal ripping a shot past Marty 499 last nite, I expect his offence to take off too. His defensive game is rounding out nicely . Early in the year he was beaten wide now not only does he shut down the oposing foward but steals the puck and takes off up the ice. I attibute his progression to playing with Rosival who has established himself as a true 1-2 defencemen with a well rounded game. However, Rosi could be picked up in the off season by a club looking to spend. With Redden making over six million Rosival may be a somewhat cheaper solution to fill the top 1-2 spot.The Rangers will have their hands full trying to sign free agents Avery and the King to extensions,and may find a cheaper solution giving Bobby Sanguinetti a look in camp.
Even with the excellent coaches the Rangers have ,on ice mentors are vital. Darius Kasparits isn't with the team anymore and most will say that his hugh contract was a total disaster. But the postive impact (along with his signature hip check) left On Fedor Tyutin is clear. From mentoring TOOTS in Ranger camp to rooming
with the youngster on team Russia,Tyutin has grown. Currently, Rosival has worked great with Staal showing the rookie when to join the play ,stay back,or take the body. Who would have thought that one time Islanders draftpick Jason Strudwick would have had such a great impact on not only the young 'D" but in theentire locker room. In the future he will have a spot on the bench and if he doesn't come back next year,I'de look to put him in the system some how.
So if these players do leave the Rangers there is one great insurance policy out there. Neither #56 or #21 are being occupied by any NY Rangers. It's time to figure out which one Sergei Zubov wants to wear. During the 94 season not only did the Rangers win the cup ,but ran the best PP in the game. His cannon from the point may have lost a little power ,but is exactly what the team needs. He would be a great 1-2 punch at the point with Rosival on the PP. Putting two true defenceman together takes away some of the shorthanded breakaway/penalty risk as well. Not only would ZUBIE be great a great fit this year but next as well. He could still run the PP if Rosi walks and is a cheaper bargin than signing Boyle or Redden. His one year extension ( 5 million) should'nt be toohard to fit into the cap with some of their current vets
on 1 year deals. There is also the "Jagr Factor" to look into. Zubov worked well with JAGGS in Pittsburgh ,before being dealt to Dallas for Kevin Hatcher. I wonder if the Penns would have minded another 11 years of Zubies service that the Stars were able to aquire. With size not a factor in the new NHL,his game seamlesly works itself into modern lineups. He has become an asset in shootouts and would help a Rangers team who finds itself in low scoring contests.Sergei has said he loves playing in Dallas but was devistated leaving NY and Brighton Beach. Coming back to a Russian hotbed and having the chance to win another cup on Broadway may be enough to convince him. Perry Pearn does a helluva job with the D but Sergie could show Sanguinetti one or two moves in camp next year.
Dallas looks like they're stuck in neutral. They are not good enough to compete for a championship and not bad enough to get a top pick. With a change in management maybe it's time for the club to move on.There has been talk that the team has interest in Al Montoya. It just so happens that another former Michigan Wolverne goalie is there now. Im sure Al could learn from Marty playing backup for a goodpart of the season. Then the club could look to shop Turco (again) in the offseason. I'msure Marty could bring in some young assets to a club looking to rebuild and land a club (Pittsburgh) the keeper they need. The Rangers could also offer Malik or Straka and their one year deals to the Stars. Mix in either a pick or prospect and we could have somehing. If the Stars ask for fan favorite Ryan Callahan,you may have to put him in with Dawes (Devil Killer) on the rise. Greg Moore and his added size and skill is ready to join the big club,making Callahan even more expendable. Dallas could send Mike Smith to NY,adding to their depth in goal. The Rangers are looking to win now and adding a first or second rounder won't hurt a club flowing with up and coming talent.
If Dallas really wants to do the best for one of it's Stars ,let him come home. Home to "Moscow on the Hudson",home to his first championship ring,home On the RANGE ERS......